HURON, S.D. (KELO) – South Dakota will soon mark two years since COVID-19 was first detected in the state. At the beginning of the pandemic, Beadle County was one of the first places to see a surge in cases.

There are 448 active COVID-19 cases in Beadle County, according to the South Dakota Department of Health. The impact the virus is having on the county right now seems to be similar to what the rest of the state is experiencing.

“When I compare the numbers with other counties, I would say we might be on the lower end, which is good for us but things have changed and changed quickly,” Doug Ramsell said.

The Huron Regional Medical Center is doing its best to adapt to those changes.

“They’ve done some restrictions on visitations, but they have not curtailed any procedures or anything, they haven’t had to go that far,” Ramsell said. “And like any other business or group or anything, staff has got it so they’re a little a short on staff.”

Doug Ramsell is the Chairman of the Beadle County Commission. He’s been on the county’s COVID-19 task force since cases first started surging in the Spring of 2020.

“We really didn’t know what to do at that point and it’s been a learning process and I think that’s helped because we’ve been able to not get real excited anymore,” Ramsell said. “You know, be as calm as we can with the different variations. I mean, we’ve been way up, we’ve been way down just like everyone else.”

His message for residents is to get vaccinated and boosted.

“I’m a firm believer that that’s keeping people out of the hospital,” Ramsell said. “You still may get sick, but not real sick. And that’s one of our main concerns is to keep the hospital from getting overwhelmed.”

Right now the Huron School District is in its green threshold, according to its website. That means there’s no spread with less than 100 cases district wide.